Chinese journalists describe Nigeria as safe, peaceful country with hospitable people

Some journalists currently visiting Nigeria on Sunday described the country as a safe and peaceful country with very hospitable people.

The journalists under the aegis of the All China Journalists Association are visiting Nigeria on the invitation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

One of the international journalists, Zhang Lu, Editor, China Watch, told journalists on Sunday in Lagos that contrary to popular perception, Nigeria is safe and peaceful.

Lu said: “Previously, what I learnt about Nigeria and Africa is from the television stations and books; but this trip has helped me to know a little bit more about the people, their hospitality and culture.

“Contrary to what I read in books and newspapers, I think that Lagos and Abuja are nice cities, safer than what I thought previously.”

She said that she enjoyed pounded yam, adding that, only the media can truly report the real situation in both Nigeria and China.

Also, the leader of the delegation, Zhang Mingxin, said the visit had opened his eyes to fresh opportunities in Nigeria, which would further strengthen the friendship between Nigeria and China.

Zhang, who is also the Vice Chief Editor, China News Service, said media professionals and information communication were important for cultural exchange between people.

He said: “The media communication will also help economic development and the MoU we signed with the NUJ will further cement relationship between our countries in the future.

“Lagos is a beautiful prosperous state.”

Earlier, the President of the NUJ, Abdulwaheed Odusile , told the News Agency of Nigeria that the visit was to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and China.

Odusile led the delegation on tour of important and historic places in Lagos in company with some executive members of the Lagos State Council of the union.

Odusile also told NAN that the visit would improve economic, social and cultural relations between both countries.

He said the union represented about one million journalists in China, adding that the partnership with the Chinese journalists became necessary to tell the right story about Nigeria.

He explained that stories about Nigeria were usually told by the western media in negative ways and were not usually fair to Nigeria or Africa in their reportage.

Odusile said the visit would also help the Chinese journalists form the right impression about Nigeria.

He said that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between the two unions in Abuja before visiting Lagos.

The president said the MoU would help in technology transfer and exchange programmes between both unions and countries.

Odusile said: “In Abuja on Saturday, delegated representing both unions signed an MoU to exchange visits. By this time in 2018, Nigerians will be going to China to see their media, their culture and their people.

“The aim is to bring the two nationals of both countries together, especially, now that China is playing a prominent role in the life of our nation.

“We feel it is about time we as journalists also key into that cooperation between Nigeria and China and see what can be of benefit to both countries not just Nigerian journalists.”

Odusile explained that the MoU included reciprocal visits; and technical support for Nigerian journalists.

He said: “NUJ is going into broadcasting; we expect that they would support us with equipment and training.”

Odusile said information exchange was crucial to any economy and would attract investments to Nigeria.

Also, the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Alhaja Sekina Lawal, said the visit was “a good opportunity for colleagues to see who we really are”.

Lawal said: “It will be a nice gain to collaborate for technology transfer to better journalism practice in Nigeria.”

The delegation paid a courtesy call on the Lagos State Television, where they were received by Funke Moore, its General Manager.

Earlier the delegation visited Muri Okunola Park on Victoria Island, Freedom Park at Onikan and Ndubuisi Kanu Park in Alausa, Ikeja.

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